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1854 American Illustrated Magic / Ventriloquist Advertising Broadside Poster For Sale
Fantastic and exceptionally rare, original 1854 American Magician / Magic Act and Ventriloquist Illustrated Broadside advertising an appearance of “Professor" Jonathan Harrington - "The Greatest Ventriloquist Living" and "Professor of ... Magic, Necromancy, Philosophy and Mechanism". This wonderful and early, American Traveling Magician Advertising Broadside measures approx. 9” by 21” and features an outstanding wood engraved illustration of Harrington performing on stage. The Broadside is titled “Travelling Season for 1854-5 / Hurrah! He's Coming! Who? Why, / Prof. Harrington".
The title is followed by a large illustration of the Ventriloquist and Magician performing a magic trick on stage. This illustration is flanked by text on the left that reads "The Greatest Ventriloquist Living" and text on the right that reads "Professor of the Physical Science of Natural Magic, Necromancy, Philosophy and Mechanism". Manuscript entries on the Broadside identify this as advertising a performance at Wilmington, Massachusetts on Feb. 1st, 1855.
Text in the body of the Broadside is printed in various fonts and details much of Harrington's stage act including lists of various tricks and illusions that were part of the "Professor's" act. Illusions mentioned include "The Bohemian's Dinner"; "The Glass Casket"; The Penetrating Money"; The Duty of a Soldier"; "Old Nick's Money"; "Remarkable Potatoes"; "Feast for the Juveniles"; "The Gambler Outwitted"; "The Wonderful Egg Market" and "The Living Cards". Further text states that following Harrington's Ventriloquism "Scenes", he will continue with "the Marvellous Experiments with Cards, Eggs, Money, Balls, Birds, Boxes, Rabbits, etc.". The Broadside is signed by the printer - Hooton's Press of Boston.
This fantastic, original, 18564, American Traveling Magic Show / Magician / Ventriloquist Advertising Broadside is in very good, original condition. It is printed in heavy, black ink on a rather delicate paper stock and the strike is dark and bold. The Sheet in intact and complete with what appear to be full, original margins. There are no tears, significant edge wear, physical damage or repairs of any kind. There are a number of horizontal and a central vertical crease and the Broadside does exhibit some soiling as can be seen in the scans below. This is a very rare and wonderful, pre-Civil War American Magic & Ventriloquism Broadside that will display nicely with a quality matting and framing and will present beautifully with a light, professional cleaning!!!
An exceptionally rare and very attractive, 1854, Illustrated American Traveling Magic / Magician / Ventriloquist Advertising Broadside and a fantastic addition to any collection!!!
PLEASE NOTE: This is not a reproduction, restrike, reprint, reissue or later copy - this is an original, period, 1854 printing of this amazing Magic Broadside Sheet published, printed and posted to promote the appearances of “Professor Harrington” in the 1854 and 1855!!!
A Bit about the Life of Magician and Ventriloquist Jonathan Harrington:
Jonathan Harrington (1809-1881) was a ventriloquist and illusionist in 19th century United States. He performed mostly in the NorthEastern United States but did travel farther later in his career. Harrington first appeared onstage at the age of 17 and appeared in Boston in 1831, "astonishing Bostonians with ventriloquism at Concert Hall." In 1834, he performed at Boston's Federal Street Theatre. Around that time he is described as a "professor of ventriloquism and natural magic". Harrington performed at the American Museum in Philadelphia 1836-1838, "with his automaton fortune teller."
In 1840 Harrington engaged in business maneuvers in Boston related to the dismantling of E.A. Greenwood's New-England Museum collection and of Moses Kimball's interest therein. Accounts vary. According to one recollection, Harrington "established a museum in the rooms previously occupied as the New England Museum, on Court Street, with the principal part of a Philadelphia museum. ...But failing to meet with a suitable support, [it] was sold by an saleeer's hammer, at a great sacrifice, in 1842." Sculptor Thomas Ball, who knew the relevant parties, tells the story in his memoirs, and adds intrigue and competition to the mix. He suggests that Harrington tried to outmaneuver Kimball, but in the end was unable to prevail.
In April, of 1843 his performance at the Lowell Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts, and was advertised in the Lowell Courier newspaper promising: "Mr. Harrington of Boston "The original, well-known, and justly celebrated Ventriloquist, and Professor of Ledgerdemain". Laughable, Comical, Quisical, Mysterious, Magical, Wonderful, Astonishing Experiments of Ventriloquism, Imitations, etc, etc, etc.". Harrington appeared again at Philadelphia's American Museum in 1845, "performing his illusions;" and at Boston's National Theatre in 1848.
Harrington performed from 1826 to 1881 and in his later years, he became affectionately known as "Old Harrington". His final performance was at York, Maine, in April, 1881, where he contracted a cold which developed into pneumonia that caused his death. He died at his home in Revere, Massachusetts
Overseasshippping is extra and cost will be quoted at buyers request. Massachusetts residents must add 6.25% sales tax.
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1854 American Illustrated Magic / Ventriloquist Advertising Broadside Poster: $237